News Flash! The New Issue of MEZZO CAMMIN Is Up & Includes Five of My Own Poems

I am pleased to share with you that the new issue of Mezzo Cammin: An Online Journal of Formalist Poetry by Women had just been published. It is full of work that intrigues and excites me by twenty different poets, each with a distinctive voice and approach to engaging with formal traditions. Here you will find excerpts from a sonnet sequence about Julian of Norwich (by poet Michelle Blake) to a pantoum for Frieda and a skillful modern example of a concrete poem (by poet Stephanie Noble), and so much more. I encourage you to browse in this rich field of words.

My own poems can be found HERE. The first poem, “Two Voices in a Starbuck’s,” was inspired in terms of tone, subject, and structure by Richard Wilbur’s masterpiece, “Two Voices in a Meadow.”  It is a poem I love, long ago committed to memory, and will recite any time, anywhere! Click HERE to see it as it originally appeared on August 17, 1957 when it was published in The New Yorker.  The other four–all sonnets–were sparked by small moments of insight below the surface of daily life. “Echo at Hug Point,” was sparked by a childhood memory of being with my father when I was eight or nine years old. “Speed on to Spica” mulls over ideas of light–celestial, human-made, and the kind conveyed by consciousness. “Magnetic Letters” sprang out of one of those surprises we all get when things that have gone missing are suddenly found. “For My Daughter, Leaving Home” was sparked when I was driving home one evening a couple of years ago from the Cities; Julia was with me, and, as we watched a flock of sparrows rise against the twilit sky, the rhyme “starling/darling” popped into my head.

Hoping your day is filled with joy and the deep, quiet beauty found in everyday life!


(Stairwell, Harry Houdini Museum, Appleton, WI)


Eclipse Special Reprint: “Day Star” (Poem)

I am just about to mosey out to the front porch with Tim, long lens camera & tripod (thanks, Karla!) and Celestron eclipse-viewing glasses. Who knows? Perhaps the clouds will stay parted long enough to see something.

Meanwhile, I thought I would share again this poem, composed during National Poetry Writing Month 2016. It is part of new book manuscript, Cloud Song, that will be forth-coming next March from Kelsay Books. More on that nearer the Vernal Equinox!

May your day be a truly stellar one, whatever you are doing, wherever you are!



      for Jan Rider Newman

Here in the early dark, waiting
for the sun to travel again
over the curve of the earth,
its daily round,
and hearing birdsong,
I understand: the whole world
waits, as we did.

I think of traveling to your house,
so long ago, visiting.
Our garden chairs set beside
your red sub-tropical blooms,
the box of old negatives
at our feet, tea-dark strips of film
we layered into visors.

Laughing, we looked boldly
into the doubled dark
of that solar eclipse,
certain as songbirds,
for the sun,
its radiant return.

Leslie Schultz





News Flash! MEZZO CAMMIN Publishes Four of My New Poems

I am so glad to share that Mezzo Cammin: An Online Journal of Formalist Poetry by Women has just published its newest issue. This issue includes four of my own poems–two villanelles and two other pieces–and lots of poems by seventeen other poets that I am looking forward to reading. (The titles of my own poems are: “For My Daughter, Sleeping,” “Geography Lesson,” “For LaNelle, After Thirty Years,” and “Night of the Murdered Poets.” All of these poems were written in the past two or three years.

This issue also includes mention of an intriguing collaboration by the featured artist, painter Holly Trostle Brigham, (a new name for me) and poet Marilyn Nelson (one of my heroines & author of A Wreath for Emmett Till) and two prose commentaries. In addition, it notes a cause for celebration: the visionary Women Poets Timeline Project now has seventy-five essays to share! The newest one introduces me to a living poet of great power, Etel Adnan, a ninety-year-old Lebanese poet, who writes in both English and French and whose work transcends cultural and disciplinary boundaries. Joyce Wilson’s summary of her life and work, “Etel Adnan: The Poetry of Suffering,” is an essay I look forward to reading again slowly.

Please take a few moments to look over the contents of this new issue. I would love to know what you think!

Here is a photo I took this past week at the Oshkosh Public Museum, a detail of an arched Tiffany window. (Julia and I traveled there to see friends and research some family history.)

April 30, 2017 Poem: “Arrival”

In memoriam Sandra Petrek

It is mete and fit for journeys to end;
for the train to pull into the station,
for all tired travelers to disembark.

Let us imagine them gathering now
in a fine hotel, mere steps from the tracks,
where they can stop, unknot the tiredness

of the body, the fatigue of the mind,
rest for a moment alone. Soon, they shall
join those waiting, who traveled before them,

in the glittering dining room. Candles
will be lit, and glasses lifted in joy.
Reunion will suffuse their hearts like wine

filling a glass to the brim and beyond,
washing away even the memory
of pain. But for now, just for a moment,

let us imagine them pausing as they reach
final clarity, still content to listen
to us, to music we make from their names.

Leslie Schultz

For me, this has been an intense month, and the daily task of the poem steadied me.

My heartfelt thanks to all of you who were there for me this past April as readers.                             You know who you are!                                                                                                   Your daily presence cheered me on each day.

                In gratitude, Leslie

April 29, 2017 Poem: “Narrow Steps”

Narrow Steps

Lately, I fear being pulled under.
And, so, ladders appear everywhere:
across the street, next door, near
my porch. Even here,

inside a monumental marble-walled
museum, a microcosm
of skill and beauty culled from
the whole blue marbled globe

we inhabit. And so, I am
asking for the courage to see
how to rise above, to find one step
up, one step back into hope.

Leslie Schultz

This is the penultimate day of NaPoWriMo– hope to see you tomorrow for the final poem in this year’s series.


Check out other participants at the NaPoWriMo Challenge 2017 home site!